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Town, The


Published 1945


Shows life during wartime in an American town (Madison, Indiana). Directed by Josef von Sternberg.


Run time 10:11
Producer U.S. Office of War Information, Overseas Branch
Sponsor U.S. Office of War Information, Overseas Branch
Audio/Visual Sd, B&W

Shotlist

Shows life in an American town, Madison, Indiana, and explains the democratic characteristics of the social and civic life of the people.



Ken Smith sez: A typical American town (Madison, Indiana) is presented as a kind of utopia in this odd little film. The narrator sings the praises of "his majesty, the common man" as he continually reminds us that hayseed Madison is a kind of heaven on earth, filled with "respect for the other man's point of view," and with plenty of room for "initiative" and "enterprise." In Madison, we're told, "the chief interest is in human beings," and each of its citizens is given equal opportunity to become "better citizens of the world."

worth noting: There are some nice images from a farmÑa woman and a man picking tobacco and a farm wife carrying a basket of eggs along a fence, but they're very short.(3:94:15)

¥ 4:95:22- 4:05:05
Nice driving POV of Main Street in Madison, Indiana. We pass the "Fashion Shop" and various other businesses. There's a 20 MPH speed limit sign and parked cars.

¥ 7:87:27- 7:95:19
Good pan of kids running around on a playground in front of a school. They look very forties.


America town Madison Indiana Towns (U.S.) World War II (U.S., homefront) Sternberg, Josef von (director) Main Streets Streets (Main)
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Reviews

Reviewer: ERD - - June 20, 2006
Subject: Pleasant Documentary About A Mid Western Town
Joseph von Sternberg did an excellent job in this 1945 artistic documentary about the virtues of a small mid western town in the United States.
Reviewer: dawn1955 - - June 20, 2006
Subject: The Town
My mother is in this film so of course I love it!! Madison seems the same today as yesterday, except on the hilltop where of course Walmart has made its presence know.

i would love a copy of this if anyone know how to get it contact me dawn1955@earthlink.net thanks
Reviewer: Spuzz - - July 31, 2005
Subject: Our Town
I finally got the whole meaning of Our Town and what the heck this was made in the final images, though some of you probably would figure it out much faster then old slow-poke here. What we see is your typical American Town! The malt shop, the bowling alleys, the schools, the churches, etc etc. IsnÃÂt small town life wonderful? Again, I was scratching my head over why this was made. At first thought, I was like, was this made for big city folk to show what people are like outside the big city? But then, at the very end, we see troops liberating a town during the war, and how this was a war film, so of course! This film was made to show why we needed to go to war, to make sure democracy prevailed! Ahh, clever. Not really the way I would go about it on film, but clever nevertheless. Actually, while I was watching this, I was thinking the Ivan Besse Amateur films that are on this site gave a better slice of Americana then this.
Reviewer: Navybugdoc - - May 29, 2005
Subject: My home Town
I was born in Madison, it still looks very much the same way it does in this film. I never saw it growing up, but it was wierd seeing it here. This film I have been told, sparked the interest of Vincente Minnelli, who directed Some Caming Running, starring Frank Sinatra. It was filmed there in 1958 to potray 1948 Parkman, Indiana.
Reviewer: Steve Nordby - - November 25, 2003
Subject: Public town, secret ballot
Straight ahead "aren't we wonderful" USA as melting pot WWII film. Gosh it would be nice if the things the WWII war office of information were actually true.
Reviewer: cashel - - November 22, 2003
Subject: usa during w.war2
The great director,von sternberg made this film at a time when his career was in decline and he could not get work in the hollywood studios. However, he has made a fine film giving a straigt forward account of life in a smallish usa town during w. war 2
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